As Congress continues drafting the next Farm Bill, organic advocates are fighting to protect gains and key programs achieved in the 2008 Farm Bill. Advocacy efforts include addressing how research and promotion orders impact the organic sector. The Senate and House Ag Committees passed identical amendments on this issue. The amendments do not establish an organic order. The amendments do three things: 1. Remedy an existing, ineffective exemption & relieve organic operations from paying into conventional orders that don’t have a history of working on their behalf. 2. Grant the USDA the authority to consider an application for a promotion order by the organic sector – if it were to decide to do so. 3. Provide organic producers and handlers a choice to select the promotion order that provides the most benefit for them.
Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO) launched a new initiative to improve communication with our expanding farmer base. The OTCO Farmer Hotline: (503) 581-8102, will serve as a direct line to our staff for quick responses to your certification questions.
The National Organic Program (NOP) is pleased to announce changes to the crops and processing sections of the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. Additionally, check out the latest blog in the Organic 101 series: Can GMOs Be Used in Organic Products?
Secretary Vilsack discussed his vision for U.S. organic agriculture and USDA's efforts to ensure its continued success during remarks at the Organic Trade Association conference in Washington, D.C. Additionally, the National Organic Program (NOP) has added historical data on certified operations going back to 2009 on our website.
TED is a non-profit devoted to "ideas worth spreading", and you can find literally thousands of free--inspiring and awesome--talks from experts and innovators around the world. Food Tank (www.FoodTank.org) decided to highlight 24 TED talks specifically around food issues that we found compelling and worth sharing.
Speaking today to member-attendees of the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) Policy Conference, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack officially recognized the unique production system covering U.S. organic agriculture, and announced guidance to remove agency obstacles to its continued growth.
The National Organic Program (NOP) wanted to remind you about the June 3rd deadline for public comments on: Classification of Materials (NOP 5033) & Materials for Organic Crop Production (NOP 5034). Additionally, the final recommendations and transcripts from the April 9 - 11 meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) are now available.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has formally established a Farmers Advisory Council to provide input from small- to medium-sized organic farmers, ranchers and growers to the trade association on matters geared to advancing organic agriculture.
Again this year new U.S. exhibitors to BioFach Germany will have the first opportunity to showcase their products in the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) booth within the U.S. Pavilion Feb. 12-15, 2014.
Substance listings are scheduled to expire from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances on November 3, 2013. The National Organic Program requests your comments on the Sunset 2013 proposed rule. Some of substances up for renewal are copper sulfate, ozone gas, EPA List 3 Inerts, calcium chloride, agar-agar, and more.
Deadline for submissions is May 31. The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is currently seeking nominations for its prestigious Organic Leadership Awards. This is your opportunity to nominate an organic unsung hero who has made a significant difference to organic agriculture, industry and trade.
Learn how microloans can provide smaller farms with more flexible access to credit. Smaller farms, including those producing specialty crops and operating community supported agriculture programs, often face limited financing options. Additionally, check out the twelfth blog in the Organic 101 series: Sound and Sensible Approach to Organic Certification. The National Organic Program (NOP) recently highlighted its 'Sound and Sensible' initiative on the USDA blog as part of the Organic 101 series.
The National Organic Program (NOP) is pleased to announce the April issue of its Organic Integrity Quarterly newsletter. The April issue of the Organic Integrity Quarterly highlights our recent work to support organic agriculture, including: Message from the Deputy Secretary, Spring 2013 NOSB meeting, 'Sound and Sensible' organic certification, Protecting crops from synthetic fertilizers, and more.
Ria’s exploration of fruit flies and organic foods has not only raised some provocative questions about the health benefits of organic eating, it has also earned the 16-year-old top honors in a national science competition, publication in a respected scientific journal and university laboratory privileges normally reserved for graduate students.
The National Organic Program (NOP) is pleased to announce a new instruction addressing technical assistance. Additionally, we want to remind certifying agents that, as addressed in the residue testing final rule that went into effect January 1, 2013, they do not need to send us residue testing results; we will review them as part of the next audit.
U.S. families are increasingly embracing organic products in a wide range of categories, with 81 percent now reporting they purchase organic at least sometimes. This finding is one of many contained in the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) newly released 2013 U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study, conducted Jan. 18-24, 2013.
The National Organic Program (NOP) is pleased to announce the availability of draft guidance on Classification of Materials (NOP 5033) and Materials for Organic Crop Production (NOP 5034) The NOP will be accepting public comments on these materials until June 3, 2013.
The National Organic Program (NOP) has finalized the agenda for the upcoming National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting, to be held April 9 - 11, 2013 in Portland, Oregon. Additionally, the NOP is pleased to announce conflict of interest guidelines for members of the NOSB.
Organic certification ensures the integrity of organic products around the world. The National Organic Program (NOP) has initiated a new program to reduce paperwork and other burdensome aspects of organic certification while maintaining high standards, ensuring compliance, and protecting organic integrity. This 'Sound and Sensible' initiative involves identifying and removing barriers to certification, streamlining the certification process, focusing enforcement on egregious violations, and correcting small issues before they become larger ones.
The National Organic Program (NOP) has posted the eleventh blog in the Organic 101 series: Almost 25,000 Certified Operations at Your Fingertips. Also, check out the recent article on the growth of the U.S. organic export industry.